It’s the most grueling grind in college baseball trying to get through the SEC schedule on top, and it came down to the last day as Florida edges out Arkansas for the regular season title.
Both Florida and Arkansas finished with a 20-10 conference record, but the Gators won the tie-breaker. It looked like Arkansas had it wrapped up on Friday, but they blew an 8-2 lead in the eighth inning to Vanderbilt, which opened up the doors for Florida.
The field is now set for Hoover where there will still be plenty to play for as these teams start positioning themselves for the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas (39-15, 20-10) at Vanderbilt (37-17, 19-11)
Not too long ago it looked like Vanderbilt might run away with the regular season crown, but after getting swept by Florida last weekend they found themselves playing spoiler and helping the Gators in the final weekend.
Arkansas jumped all over starter Patrick Reilly in game one scoring 5 runs in the first two innings. That was plenty for Hagen Smith and Will McEntire who held Vandy to just 2 runs in a 8-2 win.
In game two, it looked like Arkansas was going to run away with another one as they took an 8-2 lead going into the bottom of the eighth.
Vanderbilt’s bats woke up in the bottom of the eighth scoring 8 runs to take the lead. Troy LaNeve had the big 3-run homer to give the Commodores the lead and 10-8 win.
The Razorbacks held a 6-4 lead in game three going into the bottom of the sixth, but then Vanderbilt scored 3 runs thanks in part to a pair of balks by Arkansas pitching.
Vandy won 7-6 to get the series win, and Arkansas’ road struggles continued to haunt them as they’re just 7-9 away from Fayetteville.
Florida (42-13, 20-10) at Kentucky (36-17, 16-14)
While Kentucky drops their final regular season series at home to Florida, it’s been an incredible year for the Wildcats who are a lock to make the NCAA Tournament and should also host a regional.
Hurston Waldrep pitched 6 solid innings in game one and the offense put up 10 runs without hitting a home run. Cade Kurland and Wyatt Langford each had 3 hits and 3 runs scored, while BT Riopelle drove in 4 in the 10-3 win.
Kentucky was able to overcome 3 combined home runs from Langford and Jac Caglianone in game two to win 6-4. An RBI double by Devin Burkes and 2-RBI single by Reuben Church in the fifth inning put the Wildcats ahead for good.
Caglianone took to the mound in game three and was brilliant again, striking out 8 over 7 scoreless innings. Luke Heyman and Dale Thomas each homered for Florida in the 5-2 win.
Florida finishes on a high note and looks like one of the more dangerous teams heading into the postseason. Kentucky is a scrappy team that nobody wants to see in a regional as they can work a pitching staff.
Tennessee (38-18, 16-14) at South Carolina (38-17, 16-13)
Andrew Lindsey tossed 8.1 scoreless innings in game one for Tennessee, while Hunter Ensley provided the offense with 3 RBI singles in a 5-0 win.
Game two was a pitcher’s duel between Chase Dollander and Jack Mahoney.
Dollander had struckout a career high 13 batters through 5.1 innings but was oddly taken out for Chase Burns who proceeded to give up 4 runs on 5 hits.
Mahoney struck out 9 over 6 innings of 1-run ball to lead South Carolina to a 6-1 win.
Tennessee hit 3 home runs and Christian Scott drove in 4 as Tennessee took the series with a dominating 12-1 win behind a strong start from Drew Beam.
After sweeping Florida, the Gamecocks lost 9 of their last 12 SEC games and went limping into the postseason. Tennessee has to be encouraged about the outings they got from their starters pitchers this weekend.
Ole Miss (25-29, 6-24) at Alabama (38-17, 16-14)
For the second straight season, the defending College World Series champion will not make their conference tournament the following season as Ole Miss was swept by Alabama to end a highly disappointing season.
For Alabama, what a turnaround since Brad Bohanan was fired winning their last three conference series to finish with a winning record in conference and lock up a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Luke Holman allowed just 1 run over 6.2 innings in game one and Andrew Pinckney hit a solo home run to help lead Alabama to a 4-1 win.
It was all Alabama in game two with a 12-2 win in 7 innings. They scored 8 runs in the first 3 innings and then 4 in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off run-rule victory.
Colby Shelton and Caden Rose went deep.
Jacob McNairy finished off a great series for the Alabama pitching staff in game three only allowing 1 run over 5.2 innings. Crimson Tide pitching only allowed 4 runs in the three games.
Tommy Seidl had an RBI single in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. And then Drew Williamson helped put the game away with a 3-run homer for a 5-1 final.
Ole Miss’ season comes to a quick end, while Alabama still has plenty to play for in Hoover with a shot to host a regional with a few wins.
Missouri (30-23, 10-20) at Auburn (33-19-1, 17-13)
It was an exciting start to the season for Missouri, but they weren’t able to finish like they’d hoped, ending the regular season by getting swept at Auburn.
Chase Allsup had the best start of his season for Auburn in game one tossing 7 shutout innings and striking out 7. Bryson Ware and Ike Irish hit back-to-back jacks in the sixth to help lift Auburn to a 4-0 win.
Luke Mann hit a 2-run homer for Missouri in game two, but that’s all Auburn pitching would allow.
Cole Foster had a homer and a double, while Ware and Cooper McMurray also went deep for Auburn in their 7-2 win.
It looked like Missouri might escape the weekend with a win as they had a 7-4 lead going into the bottom of the eighth. But Auburn just refuses to lose right now and scored 5 runs in that eighth inning capped by a 2-RBI single from Ike Irish.
Auburn finishes the regular season as one of the hottest teams in the country and has a lot of momentum going into the postseason.
LSU (42-13, 19-10) at Georgia (29-26, 11-19)
Georgia had a tough task to try and make a final case for an at-large bid facing LSU and they just couldn’t get it done.
Paul Skenes finished his regular season giving up 2 runs in 7 innings with 12 strikeouts.
He’d get a no-decision after a wild ending that saw both teams score 3 runs in the final 2 innings to end the game to extra-innings.
Thatcher Hurd blew the save in the ninth but tossed 3 scoreless innings in the 10th, 11th, and 12th giving the LSU offense enough time to put some runs on the board for an 8-5 win.
Josh Pearson had the big 2-run homer in the 12th to finally break the tie.
Ty Floyd gave up a 2-run homer to Parks Harber in the first and Sebastian Murillo in the seventh, but in between that he was really sharp for LSU.
Tommy White had a home run and a sac fly while Pearson drove in 3 more to help LSU to an 8-4 win.
Georgia finished the regular season on a high-note with a 9-5 win in the finale. Charlie Condon and Connor Tate both went deep for the Bulldogs.
Texas A&M (32-23, 14-16) at Mississippi State (27-26, 9-21)
Mississippi State started to show some fight in the last couple of series, but their season will come to an unexpected early end just like their in-state rival.
Game one saw both teams trading blows with Mississippi State tying it in the sixth just to watch Ryan Targac hit his second home run of the day to give A&M the lead back.
Then, Amani Larry gave Mississippi State life with a walk-off 2-run homer.
Game two was very similar, but Texas A&M – or rather just Jace LaViolette – flipped the script and gave the Aggies the lead in the ninth with a 3-run homer – his third of the game, providing all 6 runs for the Aggies. They would win 6-4.
The slugfest continued in game three as Texas A&M won 15-10 thanks to 4 home runs, including two by Trevor Werner who drove in 4.
It ended up being an important series win for Texas A&M who suddenly found themselves on the NCAA Tournament bubble. They should be in good shape now, but a win at Hoover wouldn’t hurt.
Final SEC Power Rankings – Week 14
5. Tennessee (up 1)
6. Auburn (up 2)
7. South Carolina (down 2)
8. Kentucky (down 1)
10. Texas A&M
13. Mississippi State
14. Ole Miss